Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Monday, November 30, 2009

Skye qualifies for AKC Nationals and Rip gets a Title!

I like this annual 3 day AKC trial after Thanksgiving as it's close to home and I've got the time off anyway. Skye and I were going into this trial needing just 25 more Mach points to qualify for AKC Nationals. Note to self - next year do a couple more AKC trials so we dont come down to the last weekend to try and earn those points!
I am really happy to say that we got those 25 points! Actually, we got 31 points, so 6 to spare, HA! We managed to only get 2 Q's this weekend, on different days, so no double Q's this time. We were clean in Friday's JWW run, and then first thing on Saturday in STD, so then I could run and it didn't really matter as we had met our goal. I was pushing a little more than usual so I caused a bar to come down in each of our other JWW runs, but they were very nice. Our STD run on Sunday was great except for a missed dogwalk contact. Friday's STD was a mess - Skye checked his focus at the gate so yee haw!

So, on to Rip's weekend performance. My Rip boy ran very well for me this weekend and though we only came away with one Q out of the 4 runs, I feel like we were connected and both had a good time. If you read my last post about contacts you will note that I had started to introduce a 2on2off in practice. It's still at a very early stage, and I am only doing 2o2o with the dogwalk. I am Thrilled to say that Rip hit BOTH dogwalk contacts in his standard runs. He had not hit one in any prior run. Now, since neither STD run was a Q, we did manage to find other small issues. In Saturday's standard run, he stepped on the broad jump. That was his only fault on an otherwise great run, but its equivalent to dropping a bar, so NQ. In Saturday's JWW run, he did great and Q'd, earning his Novice Jumpers title and letting us move to Open for Sunday.
On Sunday, Rip's standard run was nice, though he came off the side of the teeter and then hit turbo boost and launched his AFrame contact. Still though, he was running fast and with lots of enthusiasm. In our first Open Jumpers course, I didnt support a jump enough for him after I front crossed, causing him to come around it, and then he backjumped it instead.

So a fun filled weekend with goals met - cant beat that! Lots of good friends there to cheer on and some who just came along to cheer for us! The weather even turned out great.

I will have video to post soon.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What is this "touch" you speak of?

I haven't had any agility trials since early October and my next one isn't until the weekend after Thanksgiving, and add to that a vacation last month, and there hasn't been much to write about.

The Thanksgiving trial is a 3 day AKC event where Skye is going to earn his last few points he needs to qualify for Nationals in March.

Our vacation to Florida preempted my thoughts on going to the Cynosport games, USDAA's Championship event. Skye is fully qualified and I had intentions on going, but due to the expense and vacation time used for our Florida trip, it will have to wait until next year (unless USDAA does actually move the event to the east coast). Instead I will follow along online and I wish everyone the best in their runs!

So, an update on Mr Rip's flying contacts. Ok, I admit defeat, at least for a little while. Though Rip has been hitting his AFrames in competition and in practice, he has YET to actually hit the yellow on a dogwalk in competition (though he's only done about 4 trials). I can also get Mr Confidence to leap at the halfway point of the down ramp in practice.
Now, I am happy with his speed and enthusiasm in running his dogwalk, but rather than tightening up his stride and getting more consistent with the contacts, he has been extending out and seriously jumping, flying well over the contact. Because of this, I have started teaching him a 2o2o position with a "touch" command. It's not something he has learned before, because right from the start, he only understood that you run on the board. He's starting to get the point, and I will be working in this Stop on the dogwalk for the foreseeable future. When he gets the complete understanding and can do the stop reliably, I expect I will transition that to a quick-release. At some point, I will come back to running his dogwalks, but for now he just doesnt get the point of the contact zone.
Rip is also entered in the Thanksgiving AKC trial, and unfortunately we cannot "train" in the AKC ring, so if he misses, then he misses. Its not really his fault, so I don't expect I will down him or carry him off. Likely I will just verbally mark the miss with an "Uh Oh" and pause our progress, then finish the course.

Rip has been learning some new tricks like "spread em" where he stands up against a wall while he gets "frisked", and I have been trying to teach him to stand on his hind legs and walk forward. These have the benefit of strengthening his back and back legs too!